Organic Consumers Association

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Protest Starbucks

Starbucks Recent Efforts to Stop its Employees from Organizing a Union

Starbucks agrees to post notices about union rights [Seattle PI]
October 4, 2007

Starbucks Corp. and the Industrial Workers of the World reached a settlement
regarding employees wanting to unionize at a store in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The company, which neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing, agreed for two
months to post notices in that store letting employees know about their
rights to form a union. Starbucks, as part of the agreement, said it would
not coercively interrogate employees about union activities.

"While the IWW would have preferred an open trial, we look forward to
continuing to create a voice for Starbucks employees and holding the company accountable for labor rights violations," said Daniel Gross, IWW Starbucks organizer.

Starbucks settles unionizing dispute in Michigan [Seattle Times]
October 3, 2007
By Melissa Allison

Starbucks and the Industrial Workers of the World reached a settlement
agreement this week over unionizing efforts by employees at a Starbucks
store in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The IWW had accused Starbucks managers of coercively interrogating employees about their union activities and implying that union organizing activities could lead to adverse personnel action, among other things.

The National Labor Relations Board approved the settlement today, said
Stephen Glasser, regional director for the NLRB in Detroit.

No money changed hands in the settlement, but Starbucks agreed to post
notices in that store for two months advising employees of their unionizing
rights. Starbucks admitted to no wrongdoing.

For the past few months, the NLRB has investigated charges against the
coffee shop chain by the IWW and "concluded that there may be a basis for
finding a violation" of the National Labor Relations Act, said Glasser.

IWW Defeats Starbucks in Michigan Legal Fight
October 2, 2007

Starbucks has backed down from a legal fight against the IWW in Grand
Rapids, Michigan.  The world's largest coffee chain chose to settle charges
instead of having its illegal anti-union operation exposed in a trial like
the one currently taking place in New York City.

Grand Rapids SWU Press Conference on YouTube at

Starbucks Settles Charges with NLRB over Anti-Union Activities in Grand
[Media Mouse]

On Friday, the Starbucks Workers Union--a union affiliated with the
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and formed in response to Starbucks'
mistreatment of its baristas--held a press conference outside of Starbucks'
Wealthy Street store in East Grand Rapids to respond to charges filed by the
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the company. The charges
included allegations that store employees were denied access to a store
bulletin board that was previously open after an employee posted union
materials, that a store manager threatened employees with "discharge and
unspecified reprisals" if they engaged in union activities, and that they
failed to change employee handbooks to indicate that employees could wear
union buttons and have union literature based on a 2006 settlement in New
York City.

The Union originally expected to know whether or not Starbucks would settle
the charges or fight them before the 3:00pm press conference. However,
Starbucks got word of the planned press conference and delayed its
announcement until 4:00pm.

Starbucks store accused of blocking union [Grand Rapids Press]
October 2, 2997
By Chris Knape

EAST GRAND RAPIDS -- The National Labor Relations Board is expected to
decide by today if it will file charges against a Starbucks in Gaslight
Village over allegations it violated employee rights to organize a union.

The NLRB is waiting to see if the coffee giant is willing to settle the
charges, which included allegedly restricting the distribution of organizing
materials and threatening to fire employees involved in unionizing efforts.

"Unless the matter is settled in the next day or two, we'll take further
action," said Stephen Glasser, director of the NLRB's Region 7.

Sacramento Bee Investigation of SBUX Coffee Purchasing in Ethiopia
Consistent with Union Findings
September 24, 2007

Statement of the IWW Justice from Bean to Cup Campaign
on Sacramento Bee Investigation of Starbucks Coffee
Purchasing in Ethiopia

"The four month Sacramento Bee investigation of
Starbucks coffee purchasing practices in Ethiopia
exposes the same hypocrisy uncovered by the IWW
Justice from Bean to Cup delegation when we met with
farmers in the birthplace of coffee. While Starbucks
makes extraordinary claims about its commitment to
coffee farmers, the reality of life on the ground for
the farmers and their families is extreme poverty and

The Starbucks spin machine is misleading consumers
about the working conditions of coffee farmers and
café employees alike. It¹s time for Starbucks to stop
the deception and pay a fair price for every coffee
bean that it purchases and respect the right of
baristas to organize."

-Peter van Schaick, member of the IWW

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